Mla Essay Outline

Sample Papers in MLA Style

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

  1. Many instructors assign outlines in high school and college writing classes to help students get their ideas together before writing an essay. An outline can be beneficial as you write because it.
  2. In the Modern Language Association (MLA) style an outline is not strictly required which means you may choose not to write one. However, you should know that an essay with an outline is better understood and accepted not only by the audience, but also by your instructor when it comes to grading you and acknowledging your work.

The following essays, which won the 2019 MLA Student Paper Contest, provide models for organizing an argument and working with sources. They also demonstrate MLA documentation style and paper formatting. For more details, consult the MLA’s guidelines on formatting papers.

An outline helps to follow all formal aspects of the research study. In some cases where an outline is required, there should be a special way of formatting it. Here the most used technique is the MLA writing standard. It provides a coherent set of rules that guides you to compose the plan.

Please note that the papers were lightly edited and that missing bibliographic information, such as page numbers, was supplied or invented for illustrative purposes.

The 2019 judges were Jessica Edwards, University of Delaware; Deb Holdstein, Columbia College, Chicago; and Liana Silva, César E. Chavez High School, Houston, Texas.


Catherine Charlton, University of King’s College, Nova Scotia

“‘Coal Is in My Blood’: Public and Private Representations of Community Identity in Springhill, Nova Scotia”


Alyiah Gonzales, California Polytechnic State University

“Disrupting White Normativity in Langston Hughes’s ‘I, Too’ and Toni Morrison’s ‘Recitatif’”


Meg Matthias, Miami University, Ohio

“Prescriptions of (Living) Historical Happiness: Gendered Performance and Racial Comfort in Reenactment”


Jennifer Nguyen, Chaminade University of Honolulu

“The Vietnam War, the American War: Literature, Film, and Popular Memory”


Mla Research Paper Outline Pdf

Emily Schlepp, Northwest University

“A Force of Love: A Deconstructionist Reading of Characters in Dickens’s Great Expectations

Mla Paper Outline Template

MLA format is typically used in English, language and literature, and Foreign Language classes.

Always double-check your professor's requirements for your assignment as they could differ from the standard MLA format requirements.

Mla Essay Outlines

MLA Paper Format:

  • Times New Roman, 12 pt. font
  • Double-spaced lines
  • One-inch margins
  • Your Name, Your Professor’s Name, Your Class, and the Date should all be in the upper left corner of your paper, each on separate lines.
  • The title of the paper should be centered on the next line after the date. The title of your paper should not be italicized, underlined, or put in quotation marks. Use standard title capitalization when writing your paper title.
  • Your last name and the page number should be in the upper right corner of the Header.

See the example below: Qbittorrent with vpn.

View a full MLA Sample Paper from Liberty University's Online Writing Center.

This information is taken from MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th Ed. and the MLA Formatting and Style Guide from the OWL at Purdue University.